Tax Planning Part 1: Tools of the Trade
Created: July 27, 2021
Description: Part 1 of a 2-part series on tax-planning. Part 1 defines "the tools of the tax-planning trade," i.e., tax breaks for saving toward life goals such as retirement, healthcare, education, emergency spending, charitable giving, and wealth transfer. Part 2 (to be published soon) will explore techniques aimed at reducing families' lifetime tax bills by leveraging available tools to maximum effect.
Inflation Part 2: What We Can Do About It
Created: June 24, 2021
Description: Part 2 of a 2-part series on inflation. Part 1 defined inflation, put current events in greater context, and described the difference between "good" and "bad" inflation. This Part 2 explores why forecasts for inflation remain as fuzzy as ever, and how investors can best prepare for whatever may happen next.
Three Advisor Firm Fact Sheet Cover Letter Templates
Created: May 26, 2021
Description: These three cover letter templates complement our Advisor Firm Fact Sheet (found at https://www.wendyjcook.com/advisor-firm-fact-sheet/), and are available at no added cost to any advisor who purchases this product. Use them to share your custom-branded fact sheet with prospects, clients, and centers of influence (such as attorneys or CPAs). Content-Sharing Library members also can download and adopt these cover letters for use with any firm brochure or fact sheet they’ve created.
Quarterly Client Letter – 2021 Q1
Created: April 1, 2021
Description: This 416-word Q1 2021 quarterly client letter reminds clients why it's just as important to ignore hot hands as cold fears in ever-changeable markets.
Understanding The 2021 Recovery Rebate Stimulus Payments
Created: March 12, 2021
Description: An 864-word overview summarizing how the newly passed American Recovery Act of 2021 Recovery Rebate Stimulus Payments work: Who will receive them, how much they can expect to receive (if anything), and the three ways they may qualify for full or partial payments based on their 2019, 2020, and/or 2021 AGI.
Quarterly Client Letter – 2020 Q4   Free Sample (Click on title to download)
Created: January 4, 2021
Description: This 487-word Q4 2020 quarterly client letter reviews the wild ride 2020 delivered and why it’s important to stay the course through both bear and bull markets. It lists the ways you’ll be helping them do that, in the context of current financial and political news.
Six Financial Best Practices for Year-End 2020
Created: November 29, 2020
Description: Share this 818-word piece with clients and prospects to offer six financial best practices for year-end 2020. This year's selection is based on some of the changes that took place in 2020, including charitable giving tax breaks, general tax-planning opportunities, altered lifestyle planning considerations, and more.
A Meaningful Message for Thanksgiving/Holiday Season (2020)
Created: November 12, 2020
Description: Use this 260-word message to be in touch with your clients for the U.S. Thanksgiving or the general 2020 holiday season. The message expresses gratitude for your client's business, and acknowledges the painful disruption the pandemic has brought to most families' holiday traditions.
Presidential Election Reflection (UPDATED)
Created: November 9, 2020
Description: UPDATED FROM OCT. 2020: This 426-word client reach-out offers three simple reminders on why it's as important as ever to disconnect your long-term investment activities from late-breaking political news. Updated on Nov. 9 for distribution post- instead of pre-election.
Quarterly Client Letter – 2020 Q3
Created: October 1, 2020
Description: This 558-word Q3 2020 quarterly client letter reminds clients of why it’s important to ignore distractions that might have detracted from their ability to participate in the market’s recent strong overall returns. Illustrations include chasing FAANG stocks, trying to predict presidential elections, and more.
Lump-Sum Investing vs. Dollar-Cost Averaging — Part 2: Actual Outcomes
Created: September 28, 2020
Description: This 650-word document is part two of a two-part series comparing lump-sum investing to dollar-cost averaging. This first part describes why lump-sum investing is generally expected to deliver higher end returns. In part two, we cover why other issues may sometimes make dollar-cost averaging the preferred strategy anyway.
Lump-Sum Investing vs. Dollar-Cost Averaging — Part 1: Raw Returns
Created: September 21, 2020
Description: This 610-word document is part one of a two-part series comparing lump-sum investing to dollar-cost averaging. This first part describes why lump-sum investing is generally expected to deliver higher end returns. In part two, we'll cover why other issues may sometimes make dollar-cost averaging the preferred strategy anyway.
Finding Your Fiduciary Financial Advisor (UPDATED)
Created: August 18, 2020
Description: UPDATED FROM FEB. 2015: This six-page, three-part special report helps investors choose a fiduciary advisor, UPDATED for recent changes under Reg BI. Part 1 describes the broad financial environment and the importance of the fiduciary relationship. Part 2 covers additional qualities to seek, and Part 3 offers tips on how to review an advisor's credentials. Pairs well with the separate, July 2020 Library piece, “What Is Fiduciary Investment Advice?”
What Is Fiduciary Investment Advice, and Why Does It Matter?
Created: July 31, 2020
Description: Fully independent, fee-only RIA firms can share this 1,500-word report with clients and prospective clients to differentiate comprehensive fiduciary client relationships, vs. "incidental" investment recommendations under Regulation Best Interest (as of June 30, 2020). Pairs well with the separate, August 2020 Library piece, “Finding Your Fiduciary Financial Advisor.”
Quarterly Client Letter – 2020 Q2
Created: July 2, 2020
Description: This 460-word Q2 2020 quarterly client letter reminds clients of the importance of sticking to plan despite near-term market noise in 2020.
Eight “Best/Worst” Wealth Strategies During the Coronavirus   Free Sample (Click on title to download)
Created: June 28, 2020
Description: Share this 833-word document with clients and prospects to cover eight of the most and least effective ways for they can spend their time and energy shoring up their financial well-being in the time of the coronavirus.
Understanding Sequence Risk in Retirement
Created: June 9, 2020
Description: Use this 1,085-word report to introduce sequence risk to clients and prospective clients, especially those in or near retirement. Describes how the sequence in which retirees earn returns early in retirement can impact their lasting wealth, provides an illustration of the same, and suggests ways to manage sequence risk when it occurs. Download includes the report itself in Word, plus an Excel spreadsheet for advisor-only reference.
How To Be Positively Skeptical | Part 4: Check the Facts Before You Act
Created: May 17, 2020
Description: Use this third, 898-word installment of a 4-part series to help clients and prospects strengthen their ability to differentiate solid evidence from bogus claims, especially during the coronavirus crisis. Parts 1-3 described why it's important to be positively skeptical, how our emotions interfere with our reasoning, and what should guide our due diligence. Part 4 describes some of the practical steps involved and wraps with a call to action.
How To Be Positively Skeptical | Part 3: How Do You Do Your Due Diligence?
Created: May 17, 2020
Description: Use this third, 673-word installment of a 4-part series to help clients and prospects strengthen their ability to differentiate solid evidence from bogus claims, especially during the coronavirus crisis. Parts 1 and 2 described why it's important to be positively skeptical, and how our emotions interfere with our reasoning. Part 3 provides five “do’s” and “don’ts” to guide our due diligence, and Part 4 will offer some of the practical steps involved.
How To Be Positively Skeptical | Part 2: Understanding Your Emotions
Created: April 29, 2020
Description: Use this second, 844-word installment of a 4-part series to help clients and prospects strengthen their ability to differentiate solid evidence from bogus claims, especially during the coronavirus crisis. Part 1 described why the ability to be "positively skeptical" is important. This part 2 covers how to recognize when emotions are interfering with reason (and what to do about it). Parts 3 & 4 will help readers hone in on their fact-checking skills.
Quarterly Client Letter – 2020 Q1
Created: April 3, 2020
Description: This 652-word Q1 2020 quarterly client letter prepares clients for putting last quarter's returns in perspective. It reviews the activities you're doing on their behalf, encourages them to be in touch if their investment resolve is wavering, and reminds them of the perils of market-timing.
A CARES Act Overview (Updated 4/3/20)
Created: April 1, 2020
Description: Share this 1,450-word CARES Act Overview with clients or (slightly modified) with prospects to provide an approachable but relatively substantive summary of critical content within the Act. The overview is organized by audience, such as items applicable to employees, to employers, to businesses, to students, etc. It includes a list of resources referenced, for additional insights. (UPDATED 4/3/20 to reflect SBA clarifications.)
A Coronavirus Round-Up Report
Created: March 27, 2020
Description: Use this 812-word overview as an additional reach-out to your clients during the coronavirus crisis (or edit for general purposes). It reviews what you, they and the markets can do at this time, and reminds them of the many ways you're supporting them at this time.
A Retirement Plan Sponsor Reach-Out
Created: March 25, 2020
Description: Use this 757-word piece to reach out to retirement plan sponsor clients during the coronavirus crisis. Let them know you're available as always, update them on retirement plan regulatory issues you're keeping an eye on, and summarize best financial practices for themselves and their plan participants.
Taking a New View on Coronavirus
Created: March 13, 2020
Description: Share this 727-word piece as another timely outreach to your clients (or for general audiences with some edits), to help them remain resolute during current COVID-19-fueled crises. The piece acknowledges the current risks being realized, while pointing out that these same risks are likely to generate important insights for seeding future expected social resilience and market growth.
Three Thoughts During Scary Markets   Free Sample (Click on title to download)
Created: March 9, 2020
Description: As market headlines go from bad to worse, share this 685-word confidence-building reach-out with your clients (or, with modest edits, with a wider audience). Includes a review of the relationship between risk and expected reward, the significance of being prepared in advance for these kinds of downturns, and a reminder that you remain available to provide objective advice.
10 Things To Do Right Now While Markets Are Tanking (UPDATED)
Created: February 28, 2020
Description: UPDATED FROM MARCH 2018: Use this 1,238-word handout with clients or prospects, to remind them during the current coronavirus-generated crisis of 10 judicious actions to take during scary markets, along with 10 insightful quotes from respected subject matter experts.
You, Your Investments, and the Coronavirus (UPDATED)
Created: February 24, 2020
Description: UPDATED 2/24: Use this 677-word client reach-out to remind your clients why they should avoid reacting to breaking news about novel coronavirus, at least as far as their investment portfolio is concerned. With minor modifications, the piece can also be used for general/prospecting purposes.
Quarterly Client Letter — 2019 Q4
Created: January 2, 2020
Description: Use this 540-word quarterly client letter to reflect on one- and 10-year retrospectives in the new year, including how and why to separate short-term reactions from long-term strategy.
You, Your Retirement, and the SECURE Act – GENERAL Audience
Created: December 24, 2019
Description: Use this 1,300-word document to provide a GENERAL AUDIENCE with an overview of what to expect from the newly enacted U.S. SECURE Act -- emphasizing how you might assist them in applying the changes according to their best interests. Refer to separate piece tailored for CLIENT use.
You, Your Retirement, and the SECURE Act – CLIENT Audience
Created: December 24, 2019
Description: Use this 1,300-word document to provide CLIENTS with an overview of what to expect from the newly enacted U.S. SECURE Act -- emphasizing how you will be assisting them in applying the changes according to their best interests. Refer to separate piece revised for GENERAL AUDIENCE use.
Six Financial Best Practices for 2020
Created: December 8, 2019
Categories: Advisor Role/Value, Article, Client Experience, Economics, Evidence-Based Investing, Financial Best Practice Lists, General Audience, Listicle, Philanthropy/Giving, Security, Wealth Management
Description: Share this 869-word piece with clients and prospects to offer six financial best practices for 2020. This year's selection is based on some of the changes that took place in 2019, including TCJA tax tips, zero-commission stock and ETF trading, and more.
Why Safe Harbors Can Be Risky Business
Created: November 21, 2019
Description: Use this 922-word article to remind clients and explain to prospective clients how to balance managing short-term market volatility risks with the long-term risk of inflation. It’s also risky to overweight a portfolio in "safe harbor" investments, and/or flee to the sidelines during turbulent times, just in a different way.
A Meaningful Message for Thanksgiving/Holiday Season (2019)
Created: November 6, 2019
Description: Use this 323-word message to be in touch with your clients for the U.S. Thanksgiving or the general 2019 holiday season, thanking them for their business and wishing them "joie de vivre." The message also includes language for making an optional gift along with the letter, for all or some of your client relationships.
16 Things You Can Do To Prepare for the Next Recession
Created: October 18, 2019
Description: 16 things investors can do to truly strengthen their financial well-being, instead of engaging in market-timing in reaction to a potential recession. Share this 783-word overview with clients and prospects.
Quarterly Client Letter — 2019 Q3
Created: October 2, 2019
Description: Use this 442-word quarterly client letter to remind clients to stay the course amidst breaking global news. It explores how reflexes in your brain can play tricks on your financial resolve.
The ABCs of Behavioral Biases (UPDATED)
Created: September 18, 2019
Description: UPDATED FROM AUG. 2017: This collection of materials includes: (1) a 5,800-word white paper, (2) the same materials broken into a seven-part drip series, and (3) an ALL-NEW PowerPoint presentation on "The ABCs of Behavioral Biases." From anchoring, to hindsight, to tracking-error regret, the series covers 17 of the most common financial behavioral biases that lead investors astray, in alphabetic order.
A Timely Reminder on the Perils of Market Timing
Created: August 25, 2019
Description: A 735-word client reach-out about the prospect that a trade war with China could lead to a recession. The piece covers four reasons why trying to engage in market-timing in reaction to the unfolding news remains as ill-advised as ever.
What Is Monte Carlo Analysis?
Created: August 23, 2019
Description: This 1,000-word article in our "What Is ...?" series describes how investors can benefit from a Monte Carlo Analysis, includes caveats on best use, and provides a basic illustration on how it works. An accompanying Monte Carlo Sample pdf file provides the assumptions used in the illustration.
You, Your Financial Well-Being and the Federal Reserve (UPDATED)
Created: August 1, 2019
Description: UPDATED FROM MARCH 2018: This 1,200-word piece puts the U.S. Federal Reserve's ongoing federal funds rate changes (especially the Aug. 1 2019 rate decrease) into sound, financial-planning context. Use this piece to inform prospects or clients about how the Fed operates, as well as what your role is in helping them manage debt, save, invest, and spend wisely through various interest rate climates and regardless of what lies ahead.
Protecting What’s Yours (While You’re Alive)
Created: July 25, 2019
Description: Use this 1,300-word article in its entirety or broken into three parts to cover three tools an individual can employ to protect their health and wealth care interests while they are alive: (1) the financial power of attorney, (2) the trusted contact, and (3) the healthcare advance directive (including a living will and healthcare power of attorney). Includes a summary, when each applies, common scenarios and additional tips for each.
Quarterly Client Letter — 2019 Q2
Created: July 2, 2019
Description: Use this 632-word quarterly client letter for Q2 2019 to describe Daniel Kahneman's research into decision-making "noise," and how it can be employed for improved investing.
The Viability of the Value Premium (Multi-Part Series)
Created: June 16, 2019
Description: This multi-part series segments the full-length 1,765-word report on the viability of the value premium into five shorter, quick-read pieces. It covers the origins of the value premium, historical precedents, additional evidence that the value premium likely remains viable, and the role global diversification plays in managing risks and expected returns. The five parts are bundled into a single zip file for simplified download.
The Viability of the Value Premium (Full Report Version)
Created: June 16, 2019
Description: This 1,765-word document addresses investor concerns that the value premium may be "dead," since value stocks have underperformed growth stocks for approximately the past decade. It covers the origins of the value premium, historical precedents, additional evidence that the value premium likely remains viable, and the role global diversification plays in managing risks and expected returns.
Good Advice (UPDATED)
Created: May 27, 2019
Description: UPDATED FROM 2016: This 605-word piece reminds your clients and informs prospective clients that the best-interest advice you offer goes well beyond stock-picking tips. It reinforces why a good financial adviser remains relevant even as low-cost funds, automated investing and simplified financial planning are on the rise.
What Is Asset Location? (UPDATED)
Created: May 27, 2019
Description: UPDATED FROM 2013: This 710-word article is part of our ongoing "What Is ...?" series. It defines asset LOCATION, differentiates it from asset ALLOCATION, and provides an overview of both its benefits and challenges. Share this piece with clients or prospects as an article, post, or video script, or for similar purposes.
Money Management Lingo
Created: March 27, 2019
Description: This 860-word document provides a beginner's guide intro to some of the most common terminology advisors tend to use when introducing prospective and new clients to money management services. For example, it differentiates assets, funds, accounts and custodians -- explaining which roles each play. (Note: Non-U.S. advisors might want to swap out some of the examples with illustrations of their own -- such as referencing your country's tax-advantaged accounts rather than U.S.-based IRAs.)
A Client Referral Reach-Out
Created: March 7, 2019
Description: Use this 260-word piece to reach out to clients in an email or postal mailing, reminding them that you warmly welcome their referrals whenever they know of someone who may benefit from a conversation with you or your firm.
A Second Opinion Reach-Out
Created: February 25, 2019
Description: Use this 525-word piece to reach out to prospects (or, with minor revisions, to clients), encouraging them to schedule a second opinion meeting with you. The piece describes what to expect as well as red flags to avoid when seeking an objective second opinion about their investment portfolio. It could also be re-purposed as a general article.
What Is Asset Allocation?
Created: February 13, 2019
Description: This approximately 750-word piece provides a working definition of asset allocation, to share with clients, prospects and others. It's the latest addition to an accumulating "What Is ...?" series, defining frequently used terminology for those who may not "just know" what it means.
An Homage to John “Jack” Bogle
Created: January 17, 2019
Description: Use this 340-word note to reach out to clients to celebrate Jack Bogle's life and remind them that you're here to help them pursue their own best pursuits in similar fashion.
Cover Intro for Dimensional 2018 Market Review
Created: January 8, 2019
Description: This 565-word summary provides an introduction you can use to share Dimensional's 2018 Market Review, with an emphasis on remaining resolute and diversified during volatile markets. You can use the intro to be in touch with your clients or as a prospecting piece for those interested in evidence-based investing.
Six Financial Best Practices for 2019
Created: December 17, 2018
Categories: Advisor Role/Value, Article, Client Experience, Estate Planning, Financial Best Practice Lists, Financial Planning, Listicle, Prospect-Focused, Scary Market Insights, Security, Wealth Management
Description: Six financial best practices encouraging investors to ignore market volatility and take practical steps toward enhancing their financial well-being. Use this piece as is to share with prospective clients, or modify it slightly for client use. This piece represents the second in an annual series, potentially pairing well with "Ten Financial Best Practices to Jump-Start Your New Year," published in December 2017.
2018 Year-End Market Volatility Client Reach-Out
Created: December 6, 2018
Description: Use this 2018 year-end client reach-out to help clients ride out current market volatility. The document contains two versions: (1) a 580-word extended reach-out that includes references to Hans Rosling's new book "Factfulness," and (2) an abbreviated, 330-word reach-out that omits the reference to Rosling's book.
Five Financial Adages for Thriving in Volatile Markets
Created: November 19, 2018
Description: This big, meaty, 2,000-word report takes a close look at why so many investors fail to adhere to five widely accepted financial adages (e.g., "buy low, sell high"), ESPECIALLY DURING VOLATILE/DOWN MARKETS. Use this report with clients or prospects -- either as-is, or as a drip communication or video series, sharing one adage at a time, over time.
Global Diversification: The Antacid for Market Turbulence
Created: October 10, 2018
Description: A timely 600-word client reach-out to reflect on the October 10, 2018 U.S. stock market tumble. Emphasizing the continued importance of remaining globally diversified according to one's goals and risk tolerances, the message also reminds them of your role as their fiduciary advisor. Ideal for a client email, the piece can also be modified for more general purposes.
Quarterly Client Letter — 2018 Q3
Created: October 1, 2018
Description: This 530-word quarterly client letter offers three reasons investors should avoid the temptation to engage in market-timing by abandoning their existing plans and investments out of concern that the market may be "overpriced" and headed for a fall.
Protecting Your Child from Identity Theft (US Version)   Free Sample (Click on title to download)
Created: September 24, 2018
Description: Use this 600-word piece to alert clients and prospects to the growing threat of child identity theft: what it is, why it's happening, how parents can spot and prevent it, and what to do if it happens.
Protecting Your Child from Identity Theft (Canadian Version)   Free Sample (Click on title to download)
Created: September 24, 2018
Description: Use this 600-word piece to alert clients and prospects to the growing threat of child identity theft: what it is, why it's happening, how parents can spot and prevent it, and what to do if it happens.
Financial & Identity Theft Quick Reference – U.S. Version (UPDATED)
Created: September 24, 2018
Description: UPDATED FROM MAY 2017: Use this 700-word quick-reference to help U.S. clients and prospective clients combat financial fraud and identity theft. Design into a front-and-back flyer or poster for rapid reading or to complement the similar, longer report on the same subject.
Financial & Identity Theft Overview – U.S. Version (UPDATED)
Created: September 24, 2018
Description: UPDATED FROM MAY 2017: Use this 1,400-word report to help U.S. clients and prospective clients understand and combat financial fraud and identity theft. Online, on the phone, in the mail or in person ... what to look for, how to protect yourself and what to do if you become a victim.
Financial & Identity Theft Quick Reference – Canadian Version (UPDATED)
Created: September 24, 2018
Description: UPDATED FROM MAY 2017: Use this 700-word quick-reference to help CANADIAN clients and prospective clients combat financial fraud and identity theft. Design into a front-and-back flyer or poster for rapid reading or to complement the similar, longer report on the same subject.
Financial & Identity Theft Overview – Canadian Version (UPDATED)
Created: September 24, 2018
Description: UPDATED FROM MAY 2017: Use this 1,400-word report to help CANADIAN clients and prospective clients understand and combat financial fraud and identity theft. Online, on the phone, in the mail or in person ... what to look for, how to protect yourself and what to do if you become a victim.
Quarterly Client Letter — 2018 Q2
Created: July 3, 2018
Description: This 400-word quarterly client letter reflects on the mixed bag of scary and enticing market news from the quarter, encouraging clients to stay on course with their well-built portfolio to maintain the highest odds of achieving their personal goals.
What Is Correlation (and Why Would You Care)?
Created: May 30, 2018
Description: This 1,000-word "What Is?" article translates a tricky investment term -- correlation -- to help clients and prospects alike appreciate the role it plays in portfolio construction.
New Client Welcome Letter/Email and Fact Sheet
Created: May 8, 2018
Description: Customize these templates -- a brief letter/email and fact sheet -- to welcome new clients to your firm, remind them of their next scheduled meeting with you, and provide key contact information.
A Focus on Fixed Income (UPDATED)
Created: April 27, 2018
Description: UPDATED FROM SEPTEMBER 2015: This 1,275-word article covers the essential roles fixed income should play in an investor's portfolio, along with some of the basics on how fixed income differs from equity investing. It also reinforces the important role an objective advisor can play in building and managing fixed income investments. Use the piece for e-newsletters, e-mails, handouts and mailings, or to create video script for prospective or existing clients.
Charitable Giving Under the TCJA: An Overview of Sensible Strategies
Created: April 25, 2018
Description: Use this 975-word overview to share four practical ways charitably inclined investors can still receive tax breaks on their charitable giving under the new U.S. Tax Cuts and Job Acts rules. This material can also be paired with the separate, February 2018 Content-Sharing Library piece focusing on Donor Advised Funds (DAFs).
Quarterly Client Letter — 2018 Q1
Created: April 2, 2018
Description: This 500-word quarterly client letter reflects on the recent uptick in market volatility, encouraging clients to be in touch with you if they need a "pep talk," a shift in their investment plans, or both.
10 Things To Do Right Now While Markets Are (Not Really) Tanking
Created: March 21, 2018
Description: Use this 1,250-word handout with clients or prospects, to serve as a "safety drill" during calm markets, to help them prepare for staying the course during market downturns. The piece offers 10 judicious actions to take during bear markets, along with 10 insightful quotes from respected subject matter experts. You also can encourage readers to revisit the piece (or use it with a brief intro) the next time markets actually are tanking.
Understanding the Donor-Advised Fund (DAF)
Created: February 25, 2018
Description: Use this 1,300-word white paper to describe to prospects and clients why they may want to consider a DAF for charitable giving under the new 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). The paper describes how tax-wise charitable giving has changed, where a DAF might fit in, how they work, and how to differentiate among them. The paper also emphasizes the value of working with a wealth advisor to assist in selection and set-up. This piece also pairs well with the April 2018 piece offering an overview of tax-wise giving under the TCJA.
The Vital Role of Rebalancing (UPDATED)
Created: January 26, 2018
Description: UPDATED FROM JUNE 2013: Use this 960-word document with clients or prospects to explain how your firm adds value by employing rebalancing as part of an evidence-based strategy. Properly implemented, rebalancing offers a disciplined, cost-effective approach to buying low and selling high and staying on track toward one's personal financial goals.
Cover Intro for Dimensional 2017 Market Review
Created: January 9, 2018
Description: This 500-word summary provides an introduction you can use to share Dimensional's 2017 Advisor Byline Market Review. You can use it to be in touch with your clients or as a prospecting piece for those interested in evidence-based investing.
Quarterly Client Letter — 2017 Q4
Created: January 1, 2018
Description: This 425-word, fourth quarter client letter reminds clients of the importance of adhering to their Investment Policy Statement using disciplined rebalancing in the context of strong 2017 market returns.
Year-End Reflections on the New U.S. Tax Law
Created: December 21, 2017
Description: Use this 550-word client message to reach out to clients about the U.S. tax law changes, to remind them you're available to assist and to suggest potentially advantageous actions they could take before year-end -- such as increasing charitable contributions or shifting taxable income into 2018.
Ten Financial Best Practices to Jump-Start Your New Year
Created: December 18, 2017
Description: Use this 1,050-word list of ten financial best practices for prospecting and public education about basic retirement planning, risk management, estate planning, budgeting, debt management, investing and more. A call to action at the end invites readers to be in touch with you for an exploratory conversation. Tailored for U.S. readers, this piece can be readily revised to apply elsewhere.
A Meaningful Message for Thanksgiving (2017)
Created: November 9, 2017
Description: This 500-word client letter reflects on the true meaning of happiness as you wish your clients a Happy Thanksgiving. Global advisors can modify the letter to use as a general season's greeting to clients.
Equifax Breach Commentary
Created: September 18, 2017
Description: Use this 785-word client communication to comment on the recently announced Equifax security breach, offer guidance, and remind them of the timeless "Avoiding Financial Scams and Identity Theft Slams" materials you can share with them (also available in the Content-Sharing Library, under Technology). You may also wish to modify this piece to share with additional audiences.
Hurricane Harvey Texan Client Reach-Out
Created: August 28, 2017
Description: A 284-word client reach-out for advisors based in Texas, to be in touch with clients about the effects of Hurricane Harvey. (A version for advisors NOT based in Texas also is available as a separate download.)
Hurricane Harvey General Client Reach-Out
Created: August 28, 2017
Description: A 238-word client reach-out for advisors NOT based in Texas, to be in touch with clients about the effects of Hurricane Harvey. (A Texan advisor version also is available as a separate download.)
Half of a Whole: When You Lose Your Spouse   Free Sample (Click on title to download)
Created: July 21, 2017
Description: This 900-word piece can be used as an article, email or video script to share with clients and prospective clients. It encourages those experiencing grief to hold off on making financial decisions that can wait, and offers supportive guidance to consider. It also encourages couples to complete their estate and advance planning if they've not yet done so.
Quarterly Client Letter – 2017 Q2
Created: July 4, 2017
Description: This 440-word, second quarter client letter reminds clients to avoid market-timing and focus instead on asset allocation and rebalancing -- in good markets and bad.
Misperceptions About Market Corrections: Are You Prepared?
Created: June 4, 2017
Description: This 750-word document can be used in letter, email, article or video script format to help clients and prospects prepare for any future market corrections following the current long stint of relative calm. It encourages readers to ensure their portfolio meets their long-term goals and risk tolerances. Choose from two calls to action at the end, depending on whether you're sharing it with clients or prospects.
Client Reach-Out on Microsoft Ransomware Alert
Created: May 15, 2017
Description: Use this 245-word email to reach out to clients and alert them to the current global Microsoft ransomware outbreak. The alert encourages them to install any outstanding Microsoft patches on their devices if they've not yet done so. It also references the new materials on financial fraud and identity theft just added to the Content-Sharing Library. These offer you additional ways to add value to your clients' financial well-being.
Prospecting Reach-Out: Client Referral Intro
Created: April 17, 2017
Description: Use this 200-word template to create a personalized letter or e-mail to prospective clients who have been referred to you by one of your current clients ... or modify or excerpt from the template to apply to other prospecting activities. This will be the first of a collection of prospecting templates I'll release over time. I welcome your ongoing suggestions for new ones!
Cover Intro for Dimensional 2016 Market Review
Created: January 12, 2017
Description: This 450-word summary provides an introduction you can use to share Dimensional's 2016 Advisor Byline Market & Economic Review. It's primarily for being in touch with your clients, although it can be modified to serve as a prospecting piece as well.
Quarterly Client Letter – 2016 Q4
Created: January 3, 2017
Description: This 425-word, fourth quarter (year-end) client letter acknowledges that 2017 remains an unknown and reminds investors of the durability of what really drives market returns -- which is global human enterprise.
Canadian Tax-Loss Harvesting: Opportunities and Obstacles
Created: December 20, 2016
Description: Modified for Canadian use, this 800-word handout can be used to inform clients about what tax-loss harvesting is, how it can be used (as well as when it may not be appropriate), and how it serves as another way you, as their adviser, seek to add value to their investing. With minor edits, it could also be used as a piece to share with prospective clients. (We published U.S. and Anglicised versions of this piece in October 2017).
A Meaningful Message for Thanksgiving (2016)
Created: November 15, 2016
Description: This 350-word client letter thanks your clients for their relationship with you and encourages them to celebrate their other life relationships during the upcoming U.S. Thanksgiving holiday. Global advisors can modify the letter to use as a general season's greeting to clients.
Post-Election Reflections: The Morning After
Created: November 9, 2016
Description: This 470-word client letter is a slightly updated and modified version of the client letter posted yesterday (Nov. 8), now that the U.S. presidential election results are known. Either version can be used to contact clients about the unexpected outcome, encourage them to remain on course with their investment strategy and be in touch with you if they have questions.
Tax-Loss Harvesting: Opportunities and Obstacles
Created: October 24, 2016
Description: This 800-word handout can be used to inform clients about what tax-loss harvesting is, how it can be used (as well as when it may not be appropriate), and how it serves as another way you, as their adviser, seek to add value to their investing. With minor edits, it could also be used as a piece to share with prospective clients.
What If Everyone Were a Passive Investor?
Created: September 12, 2016
Description: This 1,200-word report explores why we should not have to worry that passive (and evidence-based) investing may become ineffective if too many investors embrace a passive approach. It can be shared with clients and prospects as a timeless discussion, as well as to rebut the recent AllianceBernstein "Road to Serfdom" client note, suggesting that passive investing is "worse than Marxism."
Quarterly Client Letter – 2016 Q2
Created: July 4, 2016
Description: This 360-word, second quarter client letter reminds clients that the markets' responses in the aftermath of the Brexit referendum illustrate the inherent uncertainty involved in maintaining a disciplined, globally diversified portfolio designed to manage risks and capture expected market returns.
Brexit Vote and Market Outcomes
Created: June 24, 2016
Description: This 680-word piece can be used to reach out to your clients to remind them that you are there for them and to encourage them to stay the course during the days ahead. With minor modifications, it could be used for a general e-blast, video script or similar content for wider audiences.
On Investing and Entertainment: John Oliver’s Take
Created: June 21, 2016
Description: This 435-word client letter can be used to share John Oliver's recent "Last Week Tonight" popular HBO segment on retirement investing. It summarizes Oliver's key messages and encourages your clients to share the video with others who may find the message appealing -- along with a referral to your firm.
You, the Capital Markets and Your Brexit Fears (Anglicised)
Created: June 15, 2016
Description: For advisors to reach out to clients who are contemplating abandoning their investment plan in the face of Brexit-generated market volatility, this 500-piece letter reiterates the timeless, evidence-based reasons it's important to avoid reacting to breaking news. Assuming the letter is most appropriate for UK audiences, it is edited for Anglicised references and spellings.
Survivorship Bias and Other Tricks of the Trade
Created: June 6, 2016
Description: This 700-word article describes survivorship bias in performance analysis -- what it is, how common it is, and why an investor should care about it (as it can lead to overly optimistic return expectations). It wraps by pointing out how evidence-based advisors like you help investors separate biased data from solid results and invites them to be in touch with you to learn more. Use it to reach out to prospects and inform current clients.
Fixed Income Investing: What To Do in Lieu of Chasing Yield
Created: May 4, 2016
Description: As follow-up to the Library's "Investing for Retirement Income" series, this 1,250-word piece explores how investors can optimize their fixed income investing without stretching for junk bond or dividend yields. It covers the role of the yield curve, laddering, using CDs/GICs, managing costs, revisiting asset allocations and (last but not least!) working with an experienced advisor to assist in all of these areas. Use this piece to help prospective and current clients better understand fixed income investing. It also will help explain why your advisor fees are the same when managing fixed income or equities. Managed properly, they both require significant care and expertise.
DOL Fiduciary Ruling Client Reach-Out
Created: April 10, 2016
Description: A 525-word client reach-out on the DOL's new fiduciary rule, reflecting on its strengths and weaknesses, inviting them to contact you with any questions, and reinforcing the true fiduciary care you've been providing all along.
April Q1 2016 Client Letter (Guess the Media Source)
Created: April 1, 2016
Description: This 445-word, first quarter client letter reinforces the importance of staying invested according to plan. It juxtaposes distracting headlines from the popular press with timeless advice from solid sources such as WSJ's Jason Zweig as well as your own evidence-based investment advice. It also reminds clients that you are there to serve their highest financial interests (in case they've been seeing the news about the DOL's impending fiduciary regulations).
Created: February 11, 2016
Description: This 675-word piece reminds your clients and informs prospective clients that the best-interest advice you have to offer goes well beyond what is often thought of as "advice" (i.e., stock tips and little more). It reinforces why a good financial adviser remains relevant even as low-cost funds, automated investing and simplified financial planning is on the rise, and especially during the turbulent market times we are currently experiencing. As such, this piece can be used as a timely response to current market volatility or as a timeless article for all market climes.
Cover Intro for Dimensional 2015 Year in Review
Created: January 21, 2016
Description: This 540-word summary provides an introduction you can use to share Dimensional's 2015 Advisor Byline Market & Economic Review. The introduction is a little longer than in most years, given the current market climate. It's primarily for being in touch with your clients, although it can be modified to serve as a prospecting piece as well.
Additional China-Oil Response
Created: January 17, 2016
Description: As the market continues to remain in a state of flux, you may want to send another reach-out to your clients (or an initial one if you've not yet been in touch), reminding them that the best course through volatile markets is an evidence-based course. This 380-word message will help you do that.
Client New Year Greeting-China/Oil Response
Created: January 7, 2016
Description: Happy New Year! Here is a short, 350-word message you can use to reach out to your clients in light of the market volatility we're experiencing in the opening days of 2016.
January Q4 2015 Client Letter (Peek-a-Boo Markets)
Created: January 4, 2016
Description: This 420-word year-end client letter observes that 2015 markets were like a game of peek-a-boo with respect to global returns. It reminds clients how "recency" can trick them into making the wrong moves at the wrong time, and why it's important to stay invested in their personalized, evidence-based, globally diversified portfolio.
Created: December 18, 2015
Description: Use this 575-word letter or e-mail to send to your clients to thank them for their business, wish them a Happy New Year and share some uplifting information about increased global philanthropy. The piece also reminds them to consider the big picture for both giving and investing,
Reflections on Paris
Created: November 17, 2015
Description: A short (330-word) message to clients offering them thoughtful reflections on your advisor relationship with them in the wake of the Nov. 13 attacks on Paris. For example: "We aim to do all that we can – even if it may never be everything – to nurture what is good and true in our lives." This also can be used as a Thanksgiving or holiday reach-out, or as video script.
How Do We Choose the Funds We Use?
Created: November 15, 2015
Description: Other materials in the Content-Sharing Library can be used to describe your evidence-based investment strategy. This piece describes how you narrow down your fund manager selections for converting sensible strategy into practical implementation. Use the piece for e-newsletters, e-mails, handouts and mailings, or to create video script for prospective or existing clients.
Advice That Adds Up During Down Markets
Created: October 14, 2015
Description: Here is a 700-word piece you can use to remain in touch with clients who may still be nervous after receiving their third-quarter report during the current down market. It encourages them to stay the course with their carefully planned portfolio, already designed to endure market risks. It reminds them why this is your advice, and how an objective third-party can help them overcome their instinctive reactions to down markets. Use as follow up to your clients' third quarter reports or to reach out to clients or prospects in general. It could also serve as good narrative for a video.
Client Reach-Out About Bad Market News
Created: August 22, 2015
Description: You can use this brief, 450-word piece to reach out to clients and prospects in an e-mail or mail distribution, or it could serve as language for a short video. Created for the August 2015 market decline, but applicable with minor edits to any "bad news" market conditions. The piece reminds clients that it is your role as their advisor to put bad market news in context, that this is exactly what realized market risk looks like, and that they should stick to their existing Investment Policy Statement to reap the market's long-term expected rewards.
July Q2 2015 Client Letter (What We Know Now)
Created: July 3, 2015
Description: This 400-word letter reminds clients that current market conditions fueled by the Greek debt crisis are an illustration of how and why (1) market risk contributes to future expected returns, and (2) they are probably already best prepared to ride out the risks with their existing, globally diversified portfolio. Use this letter with your quarterly client reports to share a timely message with your clients.
Created: June 29, 2015
Description: Here is a brief, 375-word piece you can use to reach out to clients and prospects in an e-mail or mail distribution, advising them to the stay the course as the Greek debt crisis unfolds. It advises them on how to consider the event in the context of evidence-based investing and serves as a call to action to be in touch with you for additional assistance.
Reflections on Robo-Advice
Created: April 22, 2015
Description: This 1,200-word piece offers investors advice on how to assess the recent proliferation of robo-advisors -- differentiating the higher level of care available from dedicated human advisers, emphasizing the continued importance of an evidence-based investment strategy, and summarizing qualities to seek in any form of investment advice a family may be considering. Use the piece to inform clients or prospects or respond to their questions.
April Q1 2015 Client Letter (Relevant/Fiduciary Advice)
Created: April 2, 2015
Description: This 350-word client letter addresses the timeless relevance of robust advice versus secondary and/or "robo" advice. It describes how the advice you offer complements evidence-based investing and best serves adviser and investor alike. Two versions of the letter are bundled into this downloadable zip file: The US version uses the term, "fiduciary." A global version references transparent, objective advice.
January Q4 2014 Client Letter (Recency & Tracking-Error)
Created: January 4, 2015
Description: This 390-word client letter can be used as a cover letter to accompany your quarterly client reports or as a stand-alone communication. It advises clients to avoid recency and tracking-error regret as they consider 2014 annual returns (when a concentrated large-cap U.S. position outperformed the typical globally diversified strategy).
Timeless Investment Advice for Timely Market Troubles
Created: October 15, 2014
Description: This 500-word e-mail can be used to reach out to clients or prospects about today's (October 15, 2014) market drop or repurposed as a follow-up (with minor edits to adjust to whatever happens next in the market). It empathizes with the pain that market drops can cause and reinforces classic themes such as the importance of taking a long-term, evidence-based approach to harnessing market volatility.
Market Mania and Investor Resolve … Again
Created: July 31, 2014
Description: This 500-word timely client letter can be used to contact clients who may be concerned about the July 31 2014 steep market decline (or modifiable to be used in the days ahead, depending on continued news). Borrowing on language from past periods of market risk, it reinforces the importance of avoiding herd mentality and instead staying the course during times when market risk appears.
Heartbleed Security Reach-Out
Created: April 10, 2014
Description: This 280-word e-mail alerts your clients that you are aware of and following up on the Heartbleed Security bug announced this week and that you will be in touch promptly should they need to take any action at their end. A Mashable link is provided to help you inform your clients whether their specific account custodian appears to be affected by the breach. (Most of them appear not to be, since brokers/banks don't seem to be using OpenSSL where the breach occurred), The event also serves as a good reminder that they should routinely update their account passwords every 60-90 days.
April Q1 2014 Client Letter (Michael Lewis & HFT)
Created: April 3, 2014
Description: This 475-word client letter can be used as a cover letter to accompany your quarterly client reports or as a stand-alone communication. It addresses Michael Lewis' March 30th, 2014 "60 Minutes" discussion about his new book on high-frequency traders. The incident is a good lesson on why clients need to be aligned with a fiduciary advisor like you to look out for their interests in a market that is expected to reward patient investors, but that clearly has its dark side.
Portfolio Analysis Offer – for Prospects & Client Referrals
Created: March 27, 2014
Description: Two letters or e-mails for the price of one! These 350-word calls to action offer a complimentary portfolio analysis to qualified prospects. One version is for sending directly to qualified prospects. The other is to remind your clients that you are available to help others they care about with an objective, confidential portfolio analysis.
Combating Hidden Trading Costs: Here Be Dragons
Created: February 26, 2014
Description: This 1,300-word article serves well as a stand-alone piece or to accompany our broader article, Cost Control: An Investor's Greatest Investment. The broader article provides an overview of various investment costs; this piece explores hidden costs in more detail: bid-ask spreads, market-moving costs and costs of moving to cash. It concludes with a reminder of the value your firm brings in identifying fund managers who effectively manage hidden costs. Use this piece as a brochure or article to introduce your investment strategy to prospective clients or to review key benefits with existing clients.
Cover Intro for Dimensional 2013 Year in Review
Created: January 29, 2014
Description: Here's a 230-word letter or e-mail you can use to share Dimensional Fund Advisors' Advisor Byline 2013 Year in Review (assuming you are a Dimensional firm). There is a version directed to clients and another directed to prospective clients, encouraging them to read Dimensional's report and be in touch with you for follow-up. Both versions help remind the reader about the importance of adopting an evidence-based investment strategy.
Cost Control: An Investor’s Greatest Investment
Created: January 19, 2014
Description: This 1,200-word article provides (1) an overview of transparent as well as hidden costs of investing and the impact they have on net returns, (2) strategies for minimizing those costs, and (3) the role an experienced, objective advisor plays in cost-effective fund selection, tax-management and investor discipline. The article concludes with a call to action, inviting readers to contact your firm for a complimentary analysis of their existing portfolio. Use this piece as a brochure or article to introduce your investment strategy to prospective clients or to review key benefits with existing clients. For a deeper review of hidden costs, consider also ordering "Combating Hidden Trading Costs: Here Be Dragons."
Professor Fama’s Nobel Prize and You
Created: October 14, 2013
Description: This 570-word article celebrates Professor Eugene Fama's receipt of the 2013 Nobel Prize in Economics, and how Fama's work contributes to your clients' personal investment experiences. It also explains how you, as their advisor, add value by translating sometimes conflicting academic evidence (such as Fama’s/Shiller's respective work) into practical application toward achieving individual end goals. Use the piece as a direct client communication or modify/customize for wider use.
UPDATED: Market Mania and Investor Resolve
Created: October 11, 2013
Description: We've updated this piece from an earlier version, created during the last period of steep market decline in June. This updated 800-word version provides calming, historic context and reminders of essential investment tenets for clients who may be second-guessing the current risk levels in their portfolio in light of the government shutdown and related events.
October Q3 2013 Client Letter
Created: October 4, 2013
Description: This 340-word (one page) client letter can be used as a cover letter to accompany your quarterly client reports or as a stand-alone communication, reminding clients to stick with their disciplined plan in the face of current political and economic uncertainty (government shutdown, debt ceiling, interest rate climate, etc.)
Avoiding Tracking-Error Regret
Created: August 13, 2013
Description: This 630-word article defines tracking-error regret in approachable terms, and describes that one of your key roles as an advisor is to help your clients recognize and avoid succumbing to it. It defines tracking-error regret that occurs when an investor’s carefully designed portfolio underperforms its common benchmark. It offers a different (better) way to measure financial success — by focusing on personal goals and constructing the portfolio accordingly. It also offers a handy table that summarizes the key tenets of disciplined investing.
“Go With the Flow” Investing
Created: July 11, 2013
Description: Introducing your investment experience as a point of distinction, this brief introduction compares investing to river rafting, in which it’s important to “go with the flow” rather than struggle upstream. You help your clients accomplish this through planning, education and application of evidence-based investment strategy, combined with portfolio management (including managing for risks, costs and hyperactive trading behaviors).
The Art of Asset Location
Created: June 17, 2013
Description: Remind your clients of this important way you earn your advisory fees, by providing them with: (1) a working definition of asset location, (2) an empirical assessment of the value it can bring, (3) several reasons why it’s best to work with a professional advisor to implement the strategy, and (4) understanding on how and why most investors are missing out on effective asset location … because they’re not working with you!
Assessing Advisory Fees
Created: June 5, 2013
Description: Remind clients of the ways you earn your advisory fees, including: (1) Tangible Savings such as helping them stay the course, ensuring low-cost investing and ongoing tax management, (2) Subtle Rewards such as education, account management, wealth coordination and access to Dimensional funds, and (3) Immense Immeasurables, such as freeing their time to pursue their personal interests and ensuring smooth transitions when family money management roles shift.